As promised – though only after he was declared the winner of the election – Joe Biden signed a face mask mandate for anyone on federal property or engaged in interstate travel. Later, he went out for more of his victory lap, visiting the Lincoln Memorial and addressing the press at the base of the historic statue. (Wait… I thought statues of Lincoln were a bad thing now. Oh well…)
There was an awkward issue with that photo-op, however, as Ryan Saavedra pointed out on Twitter. While the entire press corps appeared to be following the mandate, Biden himself was not. Included are a video and a still shot of the new president addressing some reporters.
Here's Biden addressing the media, all of whom are wearing masks, while he continues to not wear a mask pic.twitter.com/J5XlCY4uzi
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 21, 2021
So what gives? The Lincoln Memorial is most assuredly on federal property. Looking at Biden’s executive order, on which the ink was barely dry, I don’t see any phrases such as “unless you’re the President of the United States” or “unless you’re near a monument and it’s dark out.” Also, contrary to some of Biden’s defenders on social media, the mandate didn’t say wear a mask or practice social distancing. It said and practice social distancing, so he doesn’t get a pass for being six feet away from the reporters. So the newly minted president wants to issue an order for the rest of us but ignore it himself? I’m almost positive that I recall being lectured by the MSM about “leading by example” or something like that.
Perhaps today Uncle Joe will head off to a wine bar or a hair salon. It’s not really an auspicious start, is it? Barely eight hours into his presidency, Joe Biden was following in the grand tradition of other Democratic elected officials around the country who practice the rule of “do as I say, not as I do.”
CNN’s breathless coverage of Biden issuing the mask mandate made it sound like Biden was saving the world. Of course, they couldn’t discuss this breaking news without getting a shot in at Donald Trump. (Empasis added.)
President Donald Trump pointedly refused to wear a mask in public throughout his presidency, and Trump political appointees across federal agencies often discouraged mask use among their staff. Largely mask-free events sponsored by the White House were linked to multiple Covid-19 infections, including a party surrounding the swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
So I assume that we’ll be hearing the same level of harping from CNN’s hosts today as they review the footage of Biden’s appearance, right? I haven’t seen them mention it yet, but the day is still young as I write this. I’m sure they’ll get around to it sooner or later.
Some of the responses were appropriately snarky.
Masks are just for the little people!
— C19 Survivor #15.8M+1 (@berick_kc) January 21, 2021
Impeachment now! That’s a crime and he’s not above the law!
— Ken Hebden (@HebdenKen) January 21, 2021
Rules for thee, but not for me. Welcome to the opening days of the new Democratic administration.